ArabicChinese (Simplified)EnglishFrenchGermanItalianRussianSpanish

How Misunderstandings About Affordability Could Cost You

There’s a lot of discussion about affordability as home prices continue to appreciate rapidly. Even though the most recent index on affordability from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows homes are more affordable today than the historical average, some still have concerns about whether or not it’s truly affordable to buy a home right now.

When addressing this topic, there are various measures of affordability to consider. However, very few of the indexes compare the affordability of owning a home to renting one. In a paper just published by the Urban Institute, Homeownership Is Affordable Housing, author Mike Loftin examines whether it’s more affordable to buy or rent. Here are some of the highlights included.

Should You Still Consider Buying in This Market?

It is still a good time to buy in this market.

Anyone who’s even halfway interested in the housing market has this question on their mind: Is right now still a good time to buy? I’ll answer that question and more in today’s video. Activity is starting to curtail in our Phoenix market. Additionally, the supply and demand imbalance is starting to level out a bit. 

Cited below for your convenience are timestamps that will direct you to various points in the video. Feel free to watch it in its entirety or use these timestamps to browse specific points at your leisure:

0:00—Introduction to today’s topic

0:50—The frenzy has died down, but prices will continue to increase 

1:41—Why it is, in fact, still a good time to buy 

3:40—The No. 1 thing you can do to hedge against inflation 

4:25—Lending practices have tightened 

4:45—Affordability has increased 

6:14—It’s actually cheaper to buy right now than rent 

6:57—The influence of economic growth and annual median income

7:27—Wrapping things up

As always, if you have questions about this or any real estate topic or are thinking of buying or selling a home soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help.

3 Ways to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time

These strategies can help you secure a home after selling your current one.

Buyer demand is incredibly high right now, which means homes can sell very quickly. Unfortunately, this leaves some sellers worried about what happens afterward. If there’s so much competition among buyers, how can a seller find a new place to live? This uncertainty is stopping some would-be sellers from jumping into the market.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to ensure you don’t end up without a home after you sell. Your purchase of a new home likely depends on the sale of your old one, so here are some ways you can navigate this situation:

1. Sell now and negotiate a post-possession deal: You can go ahead and list your home, and we will negotiate a post-possession clause that allows you to stay in the home for up to 60 days after selling. After 60 days, it technically becomes a lease agreement, and some of our clients have been able to secure a lease for as long as six months after selling. And because our market has been so crazy, the costs of the lease are usually waived completely. This gives the seller plenty of time to find a new place to live, and their next purchase is no longer contingent on their previous home’s sale.

 

All of these approaches can help ensure that you don’t end up without a home after selling.

 

2. Get qualified to purchase without having to sell first: There are things you can do that involve leasing your property. This can lower your debt-to-income ratio and give you the funds needed to purchase another home while still owning your old one.

3. Buy first and then sell: If your purchase is contingent on the sale of your old home, there’s still a way you can buy a new home before selling. How? We have an investor that will give you the money up front, allowing you to buy the home in cash. As soon as it closes, you’ll have a temporary loan on the property. You then sell your old home (which will sell quickly), get the money from the sale, and get financing for your new property. This investor option is essentially a short-term loan that acts the same as cash. You may pay around 9% to 12% interest for a few months before refinancing into your new mortgage. 

All of these approaches can help ensure that you don’t end up without a home after selling. If you’re thinking about selling and then buying a new home, contact us to learn more about which strategy may work best for your situation. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

What’s Happening in the Phoenix Market Right Now?

Here’s what you need to know about the Phoenix housing market right now.

Today we have a quick update for you on the Phoenix housing market. The latest numbers are in, and we’re excited to share them with you. We currently have 9,500 active listings for sale. That’s a big 49% decrease from last year when we had 18,300 at this time. As of March 2021, there were about 8,800 homes available, so we’ve seen an 8% increase in inventory month over month. We’ll keep a close eye on this trend. Home sales are up by 15% from this time last year. We had 9,900 homes sell last month compared to 8,400 in 2020. We have just a 0.5-month supply of inventory, down 70% from the already-low 1.7-month supply we had at this time last year. Homes are selling in an average of 32 days right now, which is down 39% from the 52-day average last year.

The population migration to Phoenix right now is incredible.

Here’s a great stat for homeowners: Home appreciation is up 16.8% year to date across the board. Last year during this time, we saw a 6.6% increase. The market has been going up for years, but the appreciation we’ve seen so far this year is simply insane. These numbers aren’t great for buyers, but there are still strategies you can use to win as a buyer in this market. With interest rates still in the 3.5% range after a slight bump, homes are still affordable. If rates were to go up another 0.5%, you’d see about a 5% drop in buying power. Where do we go from here? Right now, 5,500 people are moving here just from California. People are moving here from other parts of the country as well. Our population migration is huge, and the trend is only going to continue. If you have any questions for me about the market or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

This Secret Will Help You Find a Home, Even in a Hot Seller’s Market

Here’s the secret to easily finding homes as a buyer in today’s market.

The market is on fire right now for sellers, so many people have been deciding to capitalize by putting their homes up for sale. However, there’s one question stopping some homeowners from jumping into this crazy real estate situation: If I sell, where will I go?

I’ll admit, it’s difficult to find a property in today’s market. It’s helpful to have an agent who has good relationships with other agents, a good reputation, and the tenacity to make sure your offer is accepted. There’s one little secret that can help you find the perfect home with minimal competition, though: the “coming soon” status on the MLS. 

There’s a large percentage of people who don’t know about this feature, which means they don’t know when a home is about to be listed. This gives you a chance to get in and buy the property before it comes onto the open market (which is full of competition right now). I’ll give you an example: This last weekend, we were helping a buyer and found a property that was coming soon. It never hit the market. Do you know why?

There’s a large percentage of people who don’t know about this feature, which means they don’t know when a home is about to be listed.

Our client purchased it. Nobody knew about it, and we were able to get into the property, see it, write an offer, and get it accepted. We did work to eliminate any possible friction from the transaction and essentially gave them what they wanted, and everyone walked away happy. It was truly a win-win situation.

If you’re looking to buy a home, we can find you properties before they hit the market and get you into the home of your dreams. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Why Should Buyers Act Now?

Here are the two main reasons why now is a great time to buy a home.

Is now a good time to buy? Absolutely! I could give you 10 different reasons why, but we’ll just stick to the two biggest ones for today’s blog:    

Home affordability is just as strong as it was seven years ago.   

The affordability index shows that the mortgage cost associated with a median-priced home in our Arizona market today is currently equivalent to the mortgage cost of owning a median-priced Arizona home back in 2014. That’s insane, especially considering the rapid rate at which home values have been appreciating.   

A few years before the housing crash, an economist released a study indicating that the market appreciates by about 4% year over year on average. If you were to trace this projection all the way through 2021 and pretend that the crash never happened, the median price point would have actually been higher than it is right now. In that regard, you could say that our market is still underbought (though I know that sounds crazy to hear). So long as rates stay where they are, affordability in our market will remain strong.   

What could you do if you were able to free up all the equity in your home?

  Buying now provides you with an opportunity to diversify your equity.   

A lot of homeowners have equity tied up in their homes right now. If you’re one of them, here’s my question: What could you do if you were able to free up part of that equity? Could you put kids through college? Perhaps you could pay off debt or start a rental property portfolio (side note: We always love helping people with the latter).   

If you make hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of your current home, the conventional wisdom says you should roll that money right into your next one. Think about this, though: What if you could use that money to purchase a higher-priced home with a monthly payment equal to or lower than what you’ve been paying while taking one-third of your equity off the table? You’ll still have to cover your down payment, of course, but a chunk of your home’s equity could go toward savings, investing, or paying off debt. It’s a strategy that sort of feels like creating money out of thin air, and it’s completely viable in today’s market. In my opinion, not enough sellers take the time to explore this option.   

Give us a call, shoot a text, or send an email our way if you have any questions; we’d love to walk you through that process and help you determine if it’s the best route for you. We’re always here to help you with any other buying, selling, or investing needs you may have.  Stay tuned for the follow-up video: Now that you know it’s a good time to buy, how do you get your offer accepted?

Top 5 Reasons to Own a Golf Course House in Scottsdale, AZ

Would you like to own a property in the Golf Mecca of the world?  Have you seen all Scottsdale golf course homes for sale?  Here are the top 5 reasons why you would want to own a house on a golf course in Scottsdale, Arizona.

First, why Scottsdale, AZ?

There are a slew of reasons as to why Scottsdale, AZ is a phenomenal place to own real estate.  That is for another blog at another time; yet with year-round sunshine and daily high temperatures in “winter” hovering in the high 60’s – the low 80’s, it is very attractive for people to play golf year-round.  As a suburb of Phoenix, Scottsdale also is very accessible and easy to get to.  Also, the cost of living is still low compared to most destination cities across the country.  So let’s get right to the top 5 reasons why it makes sense to buy and own a home specifically on a golf course in Scottsdale.

Reason #5:  Amenities & Social Events.  The vast majority of golf course communities have amazing amenities which bode well for the lifestyle a golfer is typically looking for.  Many of the golf course communities in Scottsdale have amenities such as community pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, pickleball courts, fitness centers, yoga studios, and the list goes on.  Along with these amenities usually come social events.  Many of these communities have a social calendar in which they run events that residents of the community can attend not only for leisure and entertainment but also as ways to get to know other residents and neighbors.  This a great way to get to know and meet people outside of just the golf course.

Reason #4:  Views & Privacy:  If you own a house on a beautiful golf course in Scottsdale, you naturally will have a view of some type.  Why?  Since most homes in Arizona have block wall fences separating their backyards from their neighbors, owning a home on a golf course means you will have a wrought-iron “view” fence overlooking the golf course out the back of your yard.  This will give you the illusion of having a much larger backyard that you don’t have to maintain!  And… because Scottsdale is located in a natural valley, there is a good chance that you will have some type of mountain view off in the distance.  Owning a golf course home will also ensure that you will not have a neighbor directly behind you which will also provide additional privacy for you.

Reason #3Security & Safety:  The majority of golf course communities are located in either gated, or guard gated communities.  This allows for security for your house and of course all of the belongings inside.  While Scottsdale overall is a very safe city to live, owning a house in a gated community is even better.  Moreover, since many golf course homeowners live in Scottsdale part-time, it is nice to know that while you are not living there, it is safe and secure.  For the security of a gate or a guard gate, you will pay higher Homeowners Association dues on either a monthly or quarterly basis.  Most of these communities have HOA dues monthly in the range of $200 – $400 a month which for most homeowners, is completely worth it.  These dues will also include other items of value which could range from common area maintenance, to private street maintenance, to front yard maintenance, to even some utilities being covered.

Reason #2Resale Value.  There is no doubt that owning a home on a golf course provides you further insulation from market downsides while providing amazing appreciation when the housing market goes up.  They aren’t making more land, which means new golf courses aren’t popping up every year, which means the amount of golf course lots are limited.  When you own a limited asset, you naturally will make more money than the asset that is plentiful.  It is common that homes on golf course lots in Scottsdale can sell for 8%-10% more than homes in the same community on a normal interior lot.

Reason #1:  Drumroll please………Convenience, you get to walk right outside your backyard and play golf!  Does it get any better than this?!?  Do you like to practice golf?  The ability to possibly play a hole at dusk when the course is empty (with permission of course :)) is amazing.  If you live close to holes one, nine, ten, or eighteen, you could possibly walk to the golf course to start your round or to practice at the driving range. There is just something about being on the golf course that gives you that resort-style feeling and connects you to the game.

If you would like to see all homes currently for active fo sale in Scottsdale, AZ on a golf course, contact us and we will email that link to you quickly.

For any general questions or information about homes for sale on golf courses in Scottsdale, AZ please contact us at 480-227-2028 via phone or text OR email at info@kellycookhomes.com as would love to assist you in buying your future home on a golf course in sunny Scottsdale, AZ!

What’s the True Value of a Listing Agent?

Here’s how a quality listing agent can maximize—or save—your sale.

As we close in on spring, our seller’s market is hotter than ever. If you’re one of the countless sellers looking to maximize your home sale in 2021, then today’s video is a must watch. I’m diving deep into the value that an agent on the selling side should be bringing you when listing your home on the market.   

 

When all the leverage is tilted in sellers’ favor, many people assume that selling their home will be easier than ever—so easy, that they won’t have any need for a listing agent. Wow, they couldn’t be more wrong! An experienced listing agent helps you double down on your strong position and maximize your bottom line. They’re also your best hedge against a low appraisal.    

 

Cited below for your convenience are timestamps that will direct you to various points in the video. Feel free to watch the full message or use these timestamps to skip to topics that interest you most:   

 

1:25 — Prepping, repairs, staging, and the beauty of the “coming soon” phase   

2:45 — A skilled listing agent should help you drive the price up and get the best terms possible  

3:25 — What happens when the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price?  

5:29 — How I jumped in to save a deal after a buyer’s agent botched an appraisal rebuttal   

6:52 — Being able to bring families joy is why I do what I do   

7:17 — Wrapping up today’s topic   

 

As always, feel free to reach out if you have more questions about this or any other real estate topic. I’m happy to be a resource for you and assist with whatever buying, selling, or investing needs you may have. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Can You Benefit From This Program?

I have a great new home-buying program to introduce you to.

I’d like to introduce you to a home-buying program not a lot of people know about but is great for anyone with the following issue(s):

 

  • You don’t have enough money for a down payment for the loan you’re seeking
  • You just changed jobs (or perhaps you’re self-employed and don’t have the traditional two years’ worth of income statements most lenders require)
  • Your FICO score isn’t where you’d like it to be
  • You need to sell your current home before buying

 

If this describes your situation, this program is for you. There are a couple of companies we partner with in offering this program, and here are the steps involved in using it:

 

  1. Apply. It doesn’t take long to apply, and the turnaround time for processing your application is only a day or two. You’re notified of your budget. This will tell you how expensive of a home you’re allowed to buy. This budget covers all fees involved in the purchase, including HOA dues, taxes, insurance, etc.
“With this program, you can secure the house you want and buy it in your own time frame.”
  1.  It’s time to shop. You give us a call and we go to work helping you find your dream home.
  2. The home is bought and paid for in cash.
  3. You rent the home until you’re prepared to purchase it.
  4. Your three-year time frame is established. If you buy the house within 18 months, you buy it at a set price and get to keep any appreciation and equity. If you buy the house anytime after 18 months, you buy at a slightly higher price, but you still get to keep any appreciation above that number.

 

There are a few requirements you need to know about to apply for this program. First, you need to be able to afford a 1% to 2% down payment. For example, if your prospective home is $500,000, you only need to come up with $5,000. Second, you need a FICO score of 550 or higher. Third, you need six months’ worth of income—that’s the minimum underwriting standard our partner companies need. With this program, you can secure the house you want and buy it in your own time frame.

If you or anyone you know would like to take advantage of this offer, call or email me today. If you have any other real estate questions, feel free to reach out to me as well. I’d love to speak with you.

How Will Our Phoenix Market Close Out 2020?

Now is still a great time to both buy and sell in our real estate market.

2020 has been a wild year, to say the least, and it’s time for one last market snapshot before it ends. Before I get into the latest numbers, I want to thank all our clients, friends, and family for supporting the Kelly Cook Real Estate Group. Right now, there are about 10,000 active properties for sale in the Phoenix Metro area, and inventory stands at 1.4 months of supply. In other words, if no other homes came on the market, it would take 1.4 months to sell off all available listings. The good news is that roughly 7,300 homes came on the market during November. The bad news is that 8,200 homes came off the market, which means supply and demand continue to be pinched. The average days on market, meanwhile, is 38 days.
“With interest rates and supply this low, I predict a robust Arizona housing market in 2021.”
If you’re a seller, it’s a no-brainer that now is the time to sell. In the week leading up to the recording of this video, we sold four homes—each of which attracted multiple offers and sold for over asking price. Conditions may yet improve for sellers, but waiting to sell would mean trying to time the market. If you’re a buyer, you may remember that last month we talked about the three main reasons why now is still a good time to buy. To reiterate, interest rates are low, which means your buying power is high. With interest rates and supply this low, I predict a robust Arizona housing market in 2021. If you have any questions or are ready to buy or sell a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you. Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and happy holidays. We’ll see you in 2021!